CD Review – Supersonic Blues Machine’s Californisoul

Californisoul is the sophomore effort from the Supersonic Blues Machine. Comprised of the powerhouse trio including Fabrizio Grossi on Bass, Lance Lopez on Guitar and Lead Vocals, Kenny Aronoff on Drums.  Add several guests, including Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather, Eric Gales, Robben Ford, and Walter Trout, and this creates an all-star lineup making this album really shine. It has everything you would expect from a high-powered blues album, plus some. Great guitar solos and transitions throughout, as well as a fresh funk vibe which is unexpected but pleasantly welcomed. This entire album is a great listen, here’s why.

Let’s open it up!

Califonisoul starts off with a post break-up song, “I Am Done Missing You”. A mid-tempo track featuring the right amount of instrumental and vocals with enough guitar solos to cause you to break out the air guitar. That air guitar is also good for the next song as well, “Somebody’s Fool”, which continues along the sonic journey with Robben Ford lending his talents on Lead and Rhythm guitar.

The third track switches things up just slightly, and as the song opens you can clearly hear the great mix and mastering of this album, which keeps all of the instruments in balance while keeping them natural sounding. A nice drum opening followed by bass guitar, keys, rhythm guitar, harmonica, and lead guitar in quick succession lead into a great classic sound that is clearly updated to today’s standards with great artistry. It was no mistake this was chosen as the lead song from this album. “L.O.V.E.” stands up with the best of any rocking blues published in the last few decades.

Check out L.O.V.E.

Billy Gibbons mumbles a great intro on the fourth track, “Broken Heart”. Adding his version of Lead and Rhythm Guitar expands the guitar spectrum of this track, giving the song a slight ZZ Top feel. Song five, “Bad Boy” opens with a classic Jimi Hendrix style guitar scratch. When the bass guitar takes over it creates an awesome funk vibe, while the guitars continue to scratch and wail. A solid vocal mix brings everything together. Track six, “Elevate“, is the heaviest song on the album and features Eric Gales on Lead Guitar, with some serious in your face blues guitar riffs and solos. Just wait for the eighteen-second mark when the guitar cuts in hard, figuratively saying “here I am, chew on this”!

What is that I hear?

The seventh cut starts off reminiscent of a Santana riff. “The One” continues with the formula that makes this album so great, a light and clean mix, wide sounding vocals, with a great blend of melodies flowing from the background vocals.

Mellowing things out a bit, “Hard Times” featuring Lead Guitar by Steve Lukather clocks in at 7:45 being the longest track on this thirteen track opus. As the track progresses it goes from melodic to a bit angry in spots with the song settling back down towards the end, creating a memorable musical ride you would expect in a longer song.

“Cry” is the first slow song, a song about the helpless, loveless, and hopeless. As the song progresses musically, it picks up volume and breadth, making this a nice change of pace before the album picks up again. “The Stranger” kicks it back into gear, featuring a little more funk and wah-wah guitar with a blistering, straight ahead rocker of a song.

An amazing journey that’s about to get better.

Track eleven is an amazing composition featuring Water Trout on Lead Guitar and some Vocals. The most traditional blues song on the album is also the best track of the album. As the song transitions into the middle solos, oh yes, more than one, the vocals convey the feeling of pure desperation and downtrodden thoughts that “What’s Wrong” is all about, doubting yourself and the general ills this world puts upon us.

Song twelve, “Thank You” introduces some brass to the mix, creating a purely enjoyable and very danceable track as you have been accustomed to throughout the album.

Finishing up the album with the thirteenth track, we hear a very familiar riff that is exactly the same as the opening song but with a brighter tone and uplifting lyrics. “This is Love” is the resolution we are all looking for after going through issues and having the blues in our own lives, just like the album’s own journey.

Play it again!

I am not sure if this was an entire concept album from the outset, but it has a nice feel and flow and is an enjoyable listen with plenty of solid musicians lending their talents to this project, but never derailing the project from the set-up and feel of a cohesive album.

There is no indication of when Supersonic Blues Machine will be touring, but they are defiantly high on my list to check out live! I will keep my ear to the ground and let you know when a tour is announced, hopefully, sooner than later!

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Allen (Rockin' Al) Heimberger About Allen (Rockin' Al) Heimberger

Hey there! My name is Allen Heimberger hailing from Loudonville, Ohio (You know… Mohican Area). I have been employed as a graphic artist and designer for the past twenty-four years, and have worked with many National and Worldwide Fortune 500 companies creating mostly print design. I am involved in Design and Illustration on a regular basis.
From an early age music was a huge influence for me. As a kid, I just wanted to sit in front of the stereo listening to whatever record collection was in front of me. Queen, KISS, The Beatles were the earliest of influences. Playing my first DJ gig at the age of thirteen, in a biker bar owned by my father, started a hobby of DJ and Emcee work that is still here, thirty-four years later.
The love for Rock music, specifically Hard Rock, garnered me the nickname Rockin’ Al back in the mid-eighties. It took a while to accept, but I wouldn’t have it any other way today.
Music is on as much as possible in my life and I am excited to get out there and share some of my experiences with you! If you see me out and about, please make sure to say hello, there is always room for more cool people in my life!

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